Top 5 Best Keychain Multitools 2020:
- Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Huntsman Pocket Knife
- LEATHERMAN – Micra Keychain Multitool with Spring
- Kershaw PT-2 Compact Keychain Pry Tool
- Kershaw Shuffle DIY Compact Multifunction Pocket Knife
- Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool
There is no better way to start this than by quoting the immortal words of the ultimate alpha-male Ron Swanson – “No home is complete without a proper toolbox.” You know what, we are awfully inclined to believe Ron in matters like these.
The thing is, our homes are not the only text where we need these items. The problem can occur anywhere, and we are often left with no tools to address them. And it’s not like we can drag our tool boxes around to have them with us in the case of emergency.
Well, no. But, humanity has found a workaround for this issue.
Tell us, what are the items you have with you at any given time of day or night? That’s right; the answer is your wallet, your phone, and your keys. Well, your wallet drops out of the equation. Your phone can be useful but not for actual work.
Fortunately, your keys do seem like a perfect place where you can hang a couple of useful tools. And what do you say, the market is filled with dozens upon dozens of neat, practical keychain multitools that can save your life in countless different situations.
So, let’s take a quick look at some of the best and most popular units on the market to find out what is the best keychain multitool you should always have in your pocket.
See Also: The Best Neck Knife
5 Best Keychain Multitools In 2020: Detailed Reviews
1. Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Huntsman Pocket Knife – Best Overall
Yeah, nothing beats the good old Swiss Army Knife. Seriously, one would assume that this design will, at some point, become obsolete, but as it turns out, no matter how much time passes, no tool can touch this piece of portable convenience.
But, what makes Swiss army knives and this model coming from Victorinox in particular so useful and popular. Well, let’s start with the plethora of functions the manufacturer managed to squeeze into this 3.58” body. The manufacturer counts as much as 15 of them. With a little bit of ingenuity, we can bet you’ll be able to squeeze out at least 5-10 more.
Be that as it may, the built-in tools include the standard mentions like a screwdriver, scissors, wood saw, bottle opener, can opener, and pretty much everything else you can expect from the keychain item of this kind.
We are also happy to report that, in spite of manageable weight 3.42 oz, the package feels very sturdy and holds together even if you apply a lot of pressure. The unit is all stainless steel, so no need to worry about the rust. The less we say about design, the better – it’s neat and streamlined just as ever.
However, keep in mind that some more stubborn screws and materials are of this unit’s league. Swiss army knives were never intended for some heavy-duty performance, so do not make the mistake of treating them as such.
Also, not all tools offer the same value as others. The screwdriver, in particular, tends to be quite a chore in tight spaces.
- Timeless design
- Quality materials (stainless steel)
- Reasonably durable
- 15 unique tool options
- Lightweight and portable
- Sweet leather case
- Not designed for heavy-duty tasks
- Some tools work better than others
2. Kershaw Shuffle DIY Compact Multifunction Pocket Knife – Best Keychain Knife
We have to admit – we were very hesitant even to put this unit on the list. After all, we are talking about the keychain knife. How could this unit possibly compare to the versatility of the other products here?
Boy, how wrong we were. This pocket knife more than deserves to compete with the rest of the following keychain multitools but ranks pretty high amongst them as well.
First of all – we are talking about a damn good pocket knife. The choice of the materials is simply excellent – the handle is made from reinforced nylon polymer and features superior ergonomics. No way you’ll ever lose the grip over this piece of hardware no matter what you are cutting through.
Even better, the blade is pure stainless steel that easily cuts through various materials ranging from paper to rope and light metals. Also, the whole thing is very resistant to wear and tear and maintains the sharpness pretty well.
The second thing we really like – this is not only a knife. That’s right; the unit can also serve as a Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver, and bottle opener. And what do you know – all these duties are performed pretty well.
Now, no product in the world is perfect, and this knife is no exception. The locking mechanism is very tight, so watch your fingers when trying to open this thing. Also, screwdriver heads are so tightly integrated into the handle that you’ll need another screwdriver to pop them out.
Now, that’s just ridiculous.
- Sturdy build
- Easily cuts through various rough materials
- Ergonomic handle offers a firm grip
- Two screwdriver heads plus bottle opener
- Excellent militaristic design
- The locking mechanism is too rigid
- Screwdriver heads are hard to pop out
3. LEATHERMAN – Micra Keychain Multitool with Spring – Premium Choice
It doesn’t take more than a quick look at this piece of hardware to see that Micra means business. And to be quite honest, we got pretty used by now to see quality multitool units coming from this manufacturer. They were all, however, a lot bigger.
So, we can say that people from Leatherman – Micra are pushing themselves out of their comfort zone a bit with this one. And what to say – the results are rock solid. We didn’t doubt that, not even for even a second.
You see, this small multitool unit is a thing of pure stainless steel beauty. That means the product won’t end up scratched, damaged, and, most importantly, won’t leave any traces of paint residue on your hands and in your pockets.
The number of available tool options is also incredibly gratifying. You have all the usual mentions covered here, ranging from scissors and knives to nail cleaners, screwdrivers and bottle openers. What’s great about this versatile offer is that, for the most part, tools perform pretty spot on. The only exception is the scissors that feel somewhat flimsy.
Now, the things that we are not thoroughly impressed with. The steel the entire unit is made from feels a bit too soft. You will steel be able to perform a lot of chores with it, but don’t be surprised if some tools end up wrapped if you tackle something a bit harder.
Furthermore, the decision to keep all the tools on the inner part of the unit was conscious and on the paper sounds good (you won’t accidentally pull out a knife in your pocket), but it also limits the range of motion for some of them.
- Beautiful industrial design
- A lot of available tool options.
- For the most part, the tools perform pretty well
- Slim, light, and portable
- The steel feels a bit too soft
- The tool layout could be better
4. Kershaw PT-2 Compact Keychain Pry Tool – Budget-Friendly Option
Now, this is a beautiful one-piece keychain multitool if we ever saw one. Seriously, you can easily sneak this bad boy up as your regular edgy keychain, and no one will ever notice. So, here’s one easy plus if you put a lot of thought into the looks of your tools.
But, what does this piece of stainless steel have to offer besides admittedly appealing streamlined industrial design?
Well, how about a one-piece high-quality stainless steel body? That’s right; if you need to do some serious job, this small tool will be ready to go through hell or high water and come out virtually intact. Write another point in the durability department.
How about the tool options? Well, you know how it goes with this type – you trade versatility for structural integrity. But, the mentions that are covered here are more than satisfying. Bottle opener, Philips and flathead screwdriver tips, wire scrapped, three hex drives, pry bar…
What else could you ask from such a simple piece of metal?
Well, one could ask for a Philips tip that actually works. The one you get here is simply too flat for reliable performance. You can just as well use the regular flat tip, and you won’t notice any difference.
The other thing we are a bit disappointed in is the keychain hole that doubles down as the 1/4-inch bit driver. These two things should never be put together.
- Beautiful streamlined design
- Pretty affordable
- A lot of features for such a small body
- Tough as nails
- Philips screwdriver tip is too flat to work properly
- Keychain hole doubles down as a screwdriver
5. Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool – Best-Looking Keychain Multitool
There is no better way to describe this product than as overly ambitious. The manufacturer obviously put a lot of effort to make this unit work. The problem is they were able to pull off their ideas only half-way through.
But, let us start with the positives. And we assure you, there are a couple of positive things worth pointing out.
How about a futuristic, tactical all-black design? We know the look is not something that makes a useful tool, but these things double down as keychains as well. Well, if you are a huge fan of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, this is the keychain you want to carry around.
Also, the materials used here are definitely above average. You can never go wrong with stainless steel, and Gerber decided to use this material all the way through. The unit also feels pretty ergonomics, the tool layout is solid if not stellar, and everything feels well put together.
So, what’s wrong?
Well, while trying to compete with various Swiss army knife rip-offs, the manufacturer decided to pack this keychain with as much as 12 tool options. That would be great if all of them worked. Unfortunately, we managed to make some use of only six of them.
Spoiler alert, these are – bottle opener, box opener, flat driver, Phillips driver, and pliers. All the others (scissors, wire cutters, etc.) are there just to make up to the magic number 12.
Too bad, the keychain had potential.
- A gorgeous piece of hardware
- Pretty affordable
- When they work the tools work pretty good
- The quality materials and ergonomic design
- Half of the tools are pretty useless.
Why Should You Buy A Keychain Multitool?
So, there you go – five best keychain multitools you can currently find on the market. But, before we proclaim the winner of this roundup, we have to ask ourselves one question – do you really no need one of these units and just how useful they actually are in a real-life scenario.
The answers are yes and a lot.
You see, these small multitools may look a bit gimmicky (after all, how many problems you can solve with an actual keychain), but, in reality, they can address a lot of different situations. What kind? Let’s take a look at a couple of most notable mentions:
- Opening solid packages
- Fixing your bike
- Cutting (through) various materials
- Opening various locks
- Tightening the screws
As we can see, all these are pretty mundane and frequent situations. When they occur, the best tools are the ones you currently have at disposal. And keychain multitools are far from the second-worst solution. They are versatile, functional, well-built, and, most importantly, designed to solve all these specific problems.
So yeah, you should always keep a multitool in your back pocket.
Related: The Best Pocket Knife Sharpener
Types Of Keychain Multitools
Now seems like a perfect moment to point out that not all multitools are made the same. In other words, their performance in the emergent situations will largely depend on the type you eventually opt for. Some multitools are built for one type of quick fixes; others can tackle different kinds of issues.
But, generally speaking, all keychain multitools can be divided into these three distinct groups:
- One-piece multitools – These are the units built with a couple of specific purposes in mind. Usually, we are talking about small wrenches, cutters, and other simple tools. Due to this limited set of functions, their appeal may be a bit limited, but their structural integrity allows them to perform a lot of heavy-duty tasks that would be out of the question for some of the more complex keychain units.
- Complex multitools – Complex multitools are often built with more precise and delicate actions in mind. The things you can find there are small scissors, bottle openers, miniature knives, pincers, etc. As we already said, since they are comprised of a lot of smaller parts, they are usually more fragile than their one-piece cousins. But, this doesn’t have to be a rule – some of these bad boys are tough as nails.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Keychain Multitool
Finally, let us take a look at a couple of things you should take into consideration before spending your money. Being the simplistic entry-level products, keychain multitools often feature varying quality. These features will help you to single out only the best.
- We decided to put materials on the number one spot and for a good reason too. All tools are, inherently, designed to sustain a lot of wear and tear across their lifespans. The materials they are made from will largely determine how long that life span is going to be. Some of the more popular options you can find on the market include the likes of aluminum and titanium. If you can, however, you should aim for stainless steel that offers the perfect balance between strength and reasonably light weight.
2. Size And Weight
- The whole point of keychain multitools is to be practical, portable, and readily available when you need them the most. If they are too heavy or too bulky, there is no way you will be able to stand them bulging from your pocket for more than a couple of days. And that kind of defeats their entire purpose. So, do your best to find the unit that is going to be well-built and perform as many tasks as possible (more on that in a moment), but not to the point when they will lose some of its main lures – small size and portability.
- Ok, the word “multi” plays a massive part in the whole “multitool” story. But, in this case, the more doesn’t necessarily translate to better. If you are, for instance, an avid biker, even the most intricate Swiss army knife wouldn’t help you to deal with the common fixes than a simple one-piece wrench. So, instead of going for more, you should identify the operations that are actually relevant to your particular lifestyle.
- Last but not least, we have to quickly mention the price. The keychain multitools are super-useful. But, they are not intended to replace your entire toolset – just to perform a couple of quick fixes until you are able to sink your teeth into some real hardware. So, it wouldn’t be fair to pay the same price you would as if you were buying the real heavy-duty tools. Keep this in mind, and we are sure you will be able to find the right pick.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Ok, it’s finally the time to round up all the units we have talked about and see which one of them you should take into serious consideration. This time, we have a pretty tough job in our hands – all these portable toolboxes have to offer at least something noteworthy.
But, when all is said and done, we couldn’t avoid ranking the products like this.
Best Overall: Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Huntsman Pocket Knife
- You can’t beat the good old Swiss Army Knife. Although this type of unit features some inherent drawbacks that keep it away from some more heavy-duty tasks, the things that can be performed are performed with such ease that we must give this neat piece of hardware the number one spot.
Premium Choice: LEATHERMAN – Micra Keychain Multitool with Spring
- This multitool may feature a couple of shortcomings in the design department, but when it comes to performance, it’s all business. And how can we say no to that beautiful stainless steel body, even if that still is a bit softer than we expected? Even so, we can say the unit is well worth the money you are asked to pay.
Budget-Friendly Option: Kershaw PT-2 Compact Keychain Pry Tool
- This unit may be cheap, but, in this case, that means virtually nothing. The materials are top-notch, the design is somehow even better, and as long as you are not overly demanding, you’ll manage to squeeze a lot of productivity out of this seemingly simple piece of metal.